MIDDLE EAST, July 14, 2009 – Fortinet – a market-leading network security provider and worldwide leader of unified threat management (UTM) solutions – has today announced the results of a survey into IT security consolidation trends among mid-to-large enterprises in major European economies.

The survey found that 90% of respondents are likely to undertake a network security consolidation project in the next 12 months, two-thirds of them driven by the benefits of simplified management and reduced operating costs. The research also charts the main ‘lessons learned’ by senior IT decision makers from their recessionary budget squeezes, with nearly half stating their future wariness to rigid ‘per-user’ licensing models.

While respondents of all countries were positive toward security consolidation and virtualisation, French and German enterprises were far more embracing of change than their UK counterparts. The survey also chartered differences between industry sectors, with results showing financial services businesses as the most predisposed to consolidating/virtualising IT security functions.

Strong Appetite for Consolidation
The survey explored the trend for enterprises to consolidate two or more security functions into a single hardware appliance. Respondents were asked whether they were likely to “undertake some form of network security consolidation project” in the next 12 months. 

  • The overwhelming proportion (90%) answered “yes.”  The figures per country were 73.5% for UK enterprises, 96.5% in Germany and 99% in France. 
  • Across the entire sample, only 6% of financial services businesses said “no,” compared to 15% in the manufacturing sector and 10% in retail, distribution and transportation.

The sample was consistently high across all company sizes. The appetite for network security consolidation was slightly higher at the enterprise end with 93% of the 500-1000 employee enterprises responding “yes” to the above question, compared to 87% of the 250-500 employee subset. The most popular reason for pursuing a network security consolidation project (34%) was given as “simplified network security management.” Thirty-three percent stated “lower total cost of ownership/reduced OpEx” as the reason, while another 17% pointed to “tighter security.”

Lessons Learned from the Recession: No More Rigid Licensing, Getting ‘More for Less’…
The survey also charted the ‘lessons learned’ from the recession, in terms of future procurement decisions. If the recession ended tomorrow, what would be the most important lesson?

  • The biggest response was a wariness of “expensive and rigid (i.e., per user) licensing models.” Forty-four percent cited this lesson, based upon 59% in France, 40% in the UK and 34% in Germany.
  • The second most important lesson (25% of the sample) was “I know that I can get more for less from future procurement decisions.” The figure was 30% in Germany, 27% in the UK and 18% in France.
  • Manufacturing businesses were the most wary of rigid licensing models (52% stating it as the most important lesson) while financial services businesses were the strongest advocates (27%) for knowing they could “get more for less in future.”

Positive Trend to Virtualising Security
Finally, the survey verified the degree to which enterprises are virtualising individual IT security functions. Virtualisation is a building block of more efficient and scalable security integration, and is the ultimate step to achieving a complete security consolidation strategy. The sample was asked if they have and/or are currently considering virtualising any of their individual IT security functions. 

  • Eighty-one percent of the sample responded “yes,” based upon 94.5% in France, 88.5% in Germany, and 59.5% in the UK. 
  • Again the financial services industry was the most positive sector, with a figure of 87% across the sample.

“Mid and large scale organisations are being more progressive in their security strategies, and looking at mature, enterprise-ready integrated security solutions to heighten performance, reduce cost and tighten security through consolidation,” said Patrice Perche, Vice-President EMEA at Fortinet. “This trend is strongly validated by our research, conducted in the context of difficult trading conditions for European businesses, which have clearly focused their minds and budgets on being as smart and efficient as possible with IT security infrastructure.”

Note on Survey Methodology
The Fortinet Security Consolidation Survey was conducted in June 2009 by independent market research company Vanson Bourne. A total of 600 senior IT-decision makers – 200 each from enterprises in the UK, France and Germany – were questioned. All businesses questioned are sized between 250 and 1,000 employees.

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